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John Barrett from Chiswick in West London had been driving down the residential road on his way to the gym for some time believing his electric car allowed him to bypass restrictions. But he was shocked to be delivered five months worth of fines in one go.
The builder got a message from his shocked wife Lisa after more than 50 letters arrived – containing fines adding up to £6,350.
The father of three claimed that the fines, which cost £130 a time, were issued incorrectly as his Tesla allows him access to the road.
To make matters worse, Mr Barrett said he had to email Hounslow council about each fine individually as they wouldn’t accept a blanket response.
He said: “It’s ridiculous, no warning or anything. No letter to say you’ve been caught on camera driving on this road and we don’t think you should be.”
Mr Barrett continued: “It’s incredible. Imagine if I was someone really vulnerable. Not to mention that my permit allows me to use that road.
“The cost to the taxpayer must have been massive – each notice has three screenshots of my car.
“The time it takes them to print out those screenshots and put the letter in the envelope would cost a fortune.
“All they had to do was put my registration into their computer and they’d see I had a permit. This has taken so much of my time.”
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Mr Barrett said the traffic system in his area had changed rapidly in the last couple of years, with a surge in residents only roads and cycle lanes.
He believes errors may have occurred because changes were made too fast and without warning.
The builder said he was given seven penalties last year for driving to the gym, and replied to each one explaining he had a permit – but didn’t hear anything back.
Speaking about the latest situation, he said: “What a waste of money.
“Two in five people are living in poverty here, and so many of us are worried about how to pay the bills at the moment.
“It’s such a stress and it’s not okay to give people no warning, and I have 28 days to pay but they get 56 days just to reply to an email.
“It’s maddening. What are they doing that they need 56 days to write an email?
“I respond to over 50 emails a day.”
A Hounslow Council spokesperson said: “Restrictions to access on Hartington Road are designed to reduce through traffic on residential roads, thereby improving air quality and safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Prior to the introduction of the restrictions, over 8000 vehicles passed through this road on an average week, consisting of mostly non-residents.
“Registered vehicles, belonging to local residents, are prevented from receiving penalty charges by using number plates and addresses which are checked to validate exemption.
“Unfortunately the lease company for Mr Barrett’s vehicle had provided incorrect address details meaning the exemption was not applied and penalty charges became valid.
“All charges have been cancelled.”
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